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DDoS Attacks Are on the Rise
Over the past decade, DDoS attacks have been on the rise. Review the following article to understand what’s driving the increased frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most impacted, and tips for avoiding becoming the next victim.

Home » Cybersecurity » DDoS Attacks Are on the Rise

DDoS Attacks Are on the Rise

Over the past decade, DDoS attacks have been on the rise. Review the following article to understand what’s driving the increased frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most impacted, and tips for avoiding becoming the next victim.
In a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack, a cybercriminal attempts to interrupt an online service by flooding it with fake traffic. During a DDoS attack, a network of infected computers overwhelms a victim’s IP address with requests. The goal is to exceed the capacity limits of their websites, servers, and networks, resulting in a halt of services.

DDoS attacks are classified as network and website disruption losses. From 2011 to 2021, these types of losses increased by 550%, according to Advisen data, a concerning trend as these events can also be quite costly for the victim. For example, one research group found the average cost of a DDoS attack is $218,000.

Review the following article to understand the increased frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most impacted, and tips for avoiding becoming the next victim.

 

DDoS Attacks Explained

DDoS attacks occur when a hacker infects devices with malware and creates a network of remotely controlled computers called a botnet. Botnets consist of millions of computers that can be located anywhere and belong to anyone. The hacker then instructs the botnet to flood its victim with more connection requests than they can handle.

DDoS cyberattacks originate from various sources, including disgruntled employees, competitors, or nation-state actors. The attackers may seek to enact revenge, cause chaos or gain a competitive advantage. DDoS attacks can also involve extortion, in which perpetrators install ransomware on servers and demand payment to reverse the damage.

 

The Increasing Frequency of DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. Some factors contributing to this rise include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices—The number of IoT devices is rising rapidly. In 2021, the number of active endpoints globally rose 8% to 12.2 billion. By 2030, this number is expected to surpass 25.4 billion. But as the number of connected devices grows, so does the number of available devices for hackers to turn into botnets; IoT devices are especially vulnerable because they rarely have built-in firmware or security controls. In addition, the increasing number of IoT devices will allow hackers to create broader networks of computers, strengthening the size of the attacks they can level against their victims.
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs)—are small pieces of code that allow systems to share data publicly. Public APIs may have several vulnerabilities, including weak authentication checks, a lack of robust encryption, and flawed business logic. APIs can be attacked on both ends of the service in a DDoS attack. This means your API may be attacked from the server and the API server simultaneously, significantly increasing the strength of an attack.
  • Cyberwarfare—War and international tensions can lead to an increase in hacktivist-driven cyberattacks. The term “hacktivist” describes cyber criminals who are ethically, politically, or socially motivated. Hacktivists may use DDoS attacks to make a statement or retaliate against people, governments, or organizations they disagree with, among other reasons.
  • Ransomware/extortion—Cybercriminals are increasingly partnering DDoS attacks with ransomware/extortion demands. This way, DDoS attacks can increase the pressure on victim companies and bring them back to the negotiation table following a refusal to pay a ransom.

Losses in Advisen’s database give a glimpse into the increasing frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most affected by this type of cyber threat, and the consequences of such attacks.

 

Network and website disruption losses pose a threat to organizations across all industries. However, some industries are more prone to this type of cyber incident than others.

According to Advisen data, public administration sees roughly one-third (34%) of all network and website disruption losses. One reason may be that public administration includes state and local governments, which are a frequent target of hacktivists. Additionally, malicious actors may also target public administration to disrupt communication and limit information to weaken governments.

The information sector sees the second most frequent amount of network and website disruption losses at 24%. This sector, which comprises broadcasting, telecommunications and publishing companies, may be a preferred target since they are often well known and highly visible, increasing the chance the press will cover the attack.

 

 

Loss of business income or services is the most common consequence of a network and website disruption loss. However, Advisen data shows that a loss of digital assets is also present in 8% of network and website disruption losses. Loss of digital assets refers to the corruption or destruction of corporate data or software as the result of a network failure. Additionally, a loss of financial assets (i.e., bank deposits, bonds, cash, or contracts) resulted from 1% of network and website disruption losses.

Fortunately, there are a number of measures organizations can implement to identify and block DDoS attacks.

 

Identifying DDoS Attacks

The symptoms of a DDoS attack may resemble commonplace technological issues. Therefore, it’s important for organizations to be aware of the following warning signs:

  • Slower loading times
  • Inability to access certain websites
  • Trouble accessing the internet
  • An excessive amount of spam emails

To protect vital network functions from DDoS attacks, it’s important for all organizations to have prevention plans in place.

 

Prevention

Organizations should consider the following steps to avoid and mitigate DDoS attacks:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs mask and encrypt IP addresses and other identifiable network elements.
  • Install antivirus software. Antivirus software can identify and block the types of malware used by DDoS hackers.
  • Enroll in a DDoS protection program. DDoS protection services are designed to identify abnormal traffic and direct it away from company networks.
  • Evaluate security practices. Keep good security practices. This includes limiting the number of people with access to important information and managing unwanted traffic.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan. Plan ahead to create a communication, mitigation, and recovery plan in case of a cyberattack.
  • Secure sufficient insurance coverage. It’s critical to purchase adequate insurance to help protect against losses that may arise from DDoS incidents. It’s best to consult a trusted insurance professional to discuss specific coverage needs.
In a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack, a cybercriminal attempts to interrupt an online service by flooding it with fake traffic. During a DDoS attack, a network of infected computers overwhelms a victim’s IP address with requests. The goal is to exceed the capacity limits of their websites, servers, and networks, resulting in a halt of services.

DDoS attacks are classified as network and website disruption losses. From 2011 to 2021, these types of losses increased by 550%, according to Advisen data, a concerning trend as these events can also be quite costly for the victim. For example, one research group found the average cost of a DDoS attack is $218,000.

Review the following article to understand the increased frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most impacted, and tips for avoiding becoming the next victim.

 

DDoS Attacks Explained

DDoS attacks occur when a hacker infects devices with malware and creates a network of remotely controlled computers called a botnet. Botnets consist of millions of computers that can be located anywhere and belong to anyone. The hacker then instructs the botnet to flood its victim with more connection requests than they can handle.

DDoS cyberattacks originate from various sources, including disgruntled employees, competitors, or nation-state actors. The attackers may seek to enact revenge, cause chaos or gain a competitive advantage. DDoS attacks can also involve extortion, in which perpetrators install ransomware on servers and demand payment to reverse the damage.

 

The Increasing Frequency of DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. Some factors contributing to this rise include:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices—The number of IoT devices is rising rapidly. In 2021, the number of active endpoints globally rose 8% to 12.2 billion. By 2030, this number is expected to surpass 25.4 billion. But as the number of connected devices grows, so does the number of available devices for hackers to turn into botnets; IoT devices are especially vulnerable because they rarely have built-in firmware or security controls. In addition, the increasing number of IoT devices will allow hackers to create broader networks of computers, strengthening the size of the attacks they can level against their victims.
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs)—are small pieces of code that allow systems to share data publicly. Public APIs may have several vulnerabilities, including weak authentication checks, a lack of robust encryption, and flawed business logic. APIs can be attacked on both ends of the service in a DDoS attack. This means your API may be attacked from the server and the API server simultaneously, significantly increasing the strength of an attack.
  • Cyberwarfare—War and international tensions can lead to an increase in hacktivist-driven cyberattacks. The term “hacktivist” describes cyber criminals who are ethically, politically, or socially motivated. Hacktivists may use DDoS attacks to make a statement or retaliate against people, governments, or organizations they disagree with, among other reasons.
  • Ransomware/extortion—Cybercriminals are increasingly partnering DDoS attacks with ransomware/extortion demands. This way, DDoS attacks can increase the pressure on victim companies and bring them back to the negotiation table following a refusal to pay a ransom.

Losses in Advisen’s database give a glimpse into the increasing frequency of DDoS attacks, the industries most affected by this type of cyber threat, and the consequences of such attacks.

 

Network and website disruption losses pose a threat to organizations across all industries. However, some industries are more prone to this type of cyber incident than others.

According to Advisen data, public administration sees roughly one-third (34%) of all network and website disruption losses. One reason may be that public administration includes state and local governments, which are a frequent target of hacktivists. Additionally, malicious actors may also target public administration to disrupt communication and limit information to weaken governments.

The information sector sees the second most frequent amount of network and website disruption losses at 24%. This sector, which comprises broadcasting, telecommunications and publishing companies, may be a preferred target since they are often well known and highly visible, increasing the chance the press will cover the attack.

 

 

Loss of business income or services is the most common consequence of a network and website disruption loss. However, Advisen data shows that a loss of digital assets is also present in 8% of network and website disruption losses. Loss of digital assets refers to the corruption or destruction of corporate data or software as the result of a network failure. Additionally, a loss of financial assets (i.e., bank deposits, bonds, cash, or contracts) resulted from 1% of network and website disruption losses.

Fortunately, there are a number of measures organizations can implement to identify and block DDoS attacks.

 

Identifying DDoS Attacks

The symptoms of a DDoS attack may resemble commonplace technological issues. Therefore, it’s important for organizations to be aware of the following warning signs:

  • Slower loading times
  • Inability to access certain websites
  • Trouble accessing the internet
  • An excessive amount of spam emails

To protect vital network functions from DDoS attacks, it’s important for all organizations to have prevention plans in place.

 

Prevention

Organizations should consider the following steps to avoid and mitigate DDoS attacks:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs mask and encrypt IP addresses and other identifiable network elements.
  • Install antivirus software. Antivirus software can identify and block the types of malware used by DDoS hackers.
  • Enroll in a DDoS protection program. DDoS protection services are designed to identify abnormal traffic and direct it away from company networks.
  • Evaluate security practices. Keep good security practices. This includes limiting the number of people with access to important information and managing unwanted traffic.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan. Plan ahead to create a communication, mitigation, and recovery plan in case of a cyberattack.
  • Secure sufficient insurance coverage. It’s critical to purchase adequate insurance to help protect against losses that may arise from DDoS incidents. It’s best to consult a trusted insurance professional to discuss specific coverage needs.

The Last Word

DDoS attacks are a rising concern for organizations. By implementing proper prevention strategies and having response plans in place, businesses can protect themselves against this cyber threat. Contact an InsureGood Advisor today for more guidance.

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